Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The winds of change...?

Brian Windhorst has so much in his article and blog today, I don't know where to begin, but here's some interesting tidbits:

--Based on my read of the winds at the Q, the Cavs won't be going to the wall to keep Anderson Varejao. The buzzword these days is flexibility, I think the Cavs would rather let him walk than pay him crazy money (like, say, $8-$10 a year as has been predicted by some). But it is going to be hard to determine what he's worth because there aren't comparable players. That said they would prefer to sign him. Read the story for a complete understanding.

...Drew Gooden is more talented overall, and he'll be making $6.4 million next season. It's hard to fathom the Cavs will want to give Varejao, who made $945,000 this season, as much as or more than Gooden...

Sasha Pavlovic is in the same boat as Varejao, restricted, but there seems to be a greater likelihood the Cavs will keep him. It is doubtful he would get an offer above the midlevel exception from a team with cap space. Plus, the Cavs probably will put out the word they intend to match offers, which may scare away competition. Pavlovic's market was hurt this week when the Toronto Raptors traded for Carlos Delfino. Toronto was a team believed to be interested in Pavlovic.

Of the free agents out there, a league source suggests the Cavs might show the most interest in guard Steve Blake. They nearly offered him a contract two summers ago, and they like him as a ball handler and a shooter. He might be a more economical option than some others out there. You will hear a lot about Earl Boykins, the talented scorer and Cleveland native who has made no secret that he would love to finish his career in his hometown. The Cavs might shy away because he's a bit of a shoot-first player, and his size would present defensive issues on a team that thinks defense first.

Both Ira Newble and Damon Jones have asked management to be traded, although it's not really a demand. Jones can still shoot, but coach Mike Brown doesn't seem to trust him on defense, and that might never change. Plus, Daniel Gibson and Shannon Brown probably will play in front of him next season. Although Newble, who hasn't played much in the past two years, might not seem like an asset, he is. He has an expiring contract next season, and that has value. So does David Wesley, who has a $2 million deal with only $250,000 guaranteed. So, for example, the Cavs could move Newble, Wesley and Jones in the same deal, throw cash in and still pick up a player (or players) making as much as $11.1 million while greatly reducing the other team's salary-cap commitments.

He also makes some critiques about Lebron (the offense often stalls because of Lebron, not in spite of him, he's not fundamentally sound and he changes too much (great observation), and that everyone knows that it's definitely not Mike Brown telling him to post up 22 feet from the hoop--he is not comfortable down in the post.

UPDATE: After 5 minutes of searching, I couldn't find any pictures of Lebron posting up (shocking!), so I used a picture of this guy instead.